she / her
Maneshka’s work focuses on WASH, MHM/MHH, gender equality, public health, and social inclusion among marginalized communities. She provides technical assistance and research services on gender equality and social inclusion to USAID and foundation clients. Maneshka was a member of the Iris Group technical team that worked on USAID WASHPaLS MHM in the Workplace program, project managing the work in Nepal from 2019-2022. This work included engaging environmentally friendly products and disposal mechanisms in the pilot study in Nepal, and developing BCC materials that included emphasis on the intersection of MHH, the environment and climate change. Maneshka currently provides technical assistance to USAID’s URBAN WASH, WASHPaLS#2 and MUM Tanzania projects, engaging on water supply and sanitation infrastructure, WASH financing and source water protection.
Previously, Maneshka was a member of the Iris Group technical gender team to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) Program from 2018-2020, focusing on the intersections of gender, social inclusion, WASH and environment. She co-led the gender analysis and strategic planning work with SNV in Khulna, Bangladesh and provided technical support to the CWIS cities in India, engaging on issues such as menstrual hygiene management and the cost-benefit of engaging women and gender minorities in the sanitation value chain. From 2017-2020, Maneshka focused on supporting private sector partners of the SHOPS Plus project in Nepal and conducting a gender assessment for the SHOPS Plus family planning and tuberculosis programs in Nigeria, as well as supporting other Iris Group projects. In Nepal, her work included integrating gender into social marketing programs, addressing gender equality in organizational policies and board governance, and strengthening organizational capacity for gender integration through the creation of a Gender Focal Point network at Nepal CRS Company, the social marketing firm that works with SHOPS Plus. She is also part of Iris Group’s research team, contributing to reviews of the evidence and best practices on gender equality and development outcomes for the Gates Foundation and Stanford University. Maneshka was a member of the WASHPaLS-COVID-19 deep dive research team in Nepal, carrying out a rapid assessment of WASH and COVID issues across the country.
Before joining Iris Group, Maneshka was senior Asia regional manager at Search for Common Ground where she helped to manage BCC work in 12 countries in Asia. This included engaging on a number of television series in Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. She is the co-editor and author of the book Women Waging War & Peace (Continuum Press, 2011) and is a visiting professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, The University of Malta and The African University for Science and Technology in Nigeria.
She holds PhD and MS degrees in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University and a BA in International Relations and Journalism from the University of South Carolina.
Specialist Areas of Work
English, Nepali and Sinhala